on 3 October 2010
Only Kenton and his superb band could do this!
Musicians so confident in their musicality that they could go back to the dancing music in 1961 having previously made land mark albums'Kenton in Hi Fi' 'Cuban Fire' and 'West Side Story' among others and knowing they would be criticised for being 'commercial'.
Hey we all need to make a bob or two as did Stan very often to keep that contemporary wonderful band that you 'listened to' on the road. And if in making that bob or two you produce a beautiful album like this, that is great by me.
There are distinct shades of the real Stanley Kenton in here, going back to the Balboa days and like that time the music has depth and originality the very things that made that band in the ballroom so exciting. But as the title suggests this is the gently swinging stuff not the rocking variety. That is elsewhere. But would you not have liked to have taken your woman in your arms and danced to the front of the bandstand to this super music.
If you are doubtful sample 'But Beautiful' and 'How do I look in Blue' and you will be sold I am sure.
There is plenty of time and recordings of the exciting contemporary genius of Kenton to enjoy but for that romantic evening or when you need to quietly contemplate let this collection be your backing track. you will not find many better, that I promise!
If you like the bold sound of the Kenton brass, but the mayhem of `The peanut vendor' is a bit much for you, here is a CD with 13 standards (12 from the original LP) of tunes you will know with that lovely solid brass sound of the Kenton band. Stan emerges from time to time to solo on piano. I have never heard any big band rendition of these pieces that is as original as these arrangements - unmistakably the Kenton sound. I'm not sure what CD the other reviewer was listening to but neither of the pieces they refer to are on my CD. But I'm happy listening to 'More than you know', 'Moon song', 'Early autumn', 'We'll be together again', 'How deep is the ocean', 'The night we called it a day' (perhaps my favourite), 'Ill wind' and more.